Secret face of the real Pakistan
When a section of Indian society is keen to build bridges of love, peace and friendship with a neighbour, it is time to take stock of ground realities in Pakistan
by ABHIJIT BHATTACHARYYA*
The Statesman, Kolkata, April 14, 2010
“Civil society” constitutes the most important public opinion maker in a multi-dimensional society like India. Hence when a section of Indian society is keen to build bridges of love, peace and friendship with a neighbour, it is time to take stock of the ground reality. It is necessary to “know thy neighbour” and to “know yourself”.
Let us begin with one of the largest English dailies The Nation, published simultaneously from Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Editor-in-chief, The Nation and chairman of the Nazria Pakistan Trust (NPT), Majid Nizami, stated as recently as on 10 March, 2010 that “freedom is the greatest blessing of the Almighty, Who may save us from dominance of Hindus, as our sworn enemy is bent upon destroying Pakistan. However, if it did not refrain from committing aggression against us, then Pakistan is destined to defeat India because our horses in the form of atomic bombs and missiles are far better than Indian donkeys.”
Nizami revealed to a captive audience that “if one wants to have an idea of what would have been our condition had Pakistan not come into existence, he should visit India to apprise himself about untold pathetic living conditions of the Muslims there at this point of time.” Nizami thundered that “the day was not far off when we would once again conquer India” and that “Pakistan had to play a key role in liberating enslaved minorities from the clutches of Hindu majority” in South Asia.
The potential of India emerging big is unacceptable to the Pakistani ruling class. Or else, how does one justify the unsubstantiated public statement by the Chief Justice Khwaja Muhammad Sharif of Lahore High Court that the “Hindus of Pakistan are funding terror activities in Pakistan!”
The hate-India attitide does not end with the vituperative and venomous excesses of the national press and Islamabad’s judiciary. It is put into practice with all sincerity and dedication by the de-facto ruling class, the army.
Reportedly, “the Pakistani army is sexually assaulting minority women and using them as sex slaves, alleges the European Organisation of Pakistani Minorities (EOPM), an NGO working for the rights of minorities in Pakistan. In a prayer-cum-demonstration held at the United Nations, it said the Pakistani army is taking minority women away from their families, raping them and using them as sex slaves.”
Reference was made to the case of “Zarina Marri, 23-year-old school teacher from Quetta, being used as a sex slave by the Pakistani army”, alleged EOPM. It was categorically maintained that “the attacks on minorities in Pakistan were increasing” and that “the religious minorities constitute much more than five per cent – as claimed in Pakistani census – of Pakistan’s 160 million people.” The idea is to “intentionally keep the minority population low to deny them greater representation.” All in all, “Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and other minorities are constant targets of attack in Pakistan.”
Understandably, therefore, Pakistan last year ranked as the “world’s top country for major increases in threats to minorities since 2007.”
The story of the unfinished task of Pakistani establishment does not end with a newspaper group, the High Court and the Army. It is only that now the civilised world outside Islamabad is trying to come to terms with the cocktail of rabid communalism, terrorism and fundamentalism for the sake of expanding its political power base through the state-sponsored religious order’s (should one say “disorder”) foot soldiers like the ghazis, fidayeens, lashkars and mujahideens.
The flip side of this long-term diabolical plot, however, is the present masked attempt to “cultivate” the “evil society” of the non-Islamic, (“Hindu”) enemy state of India. Hence the attempt to build a bridge through the Jang group of newspaper’s English daily News. Curiously, however, the Government of India’s ban on this publication 47 years ago is still on. Thus a Government of India notification dated 19 January, 1963 stipulated “The Central Government hereby prohibits the bringing by sea or land into India of any issue of the Urdu newspaper entitled Daily Jang, Karachi, edited, printed and published by Mir Khalil-ul-Rahman from Javed Press, Mcleod Road, or any extract from, or reprint of, or any translation of, or other document reproducing any matter contained in any issue of the newspaper”. In another notification dated 30 January, 1963, the Government of India once again “prohibited” the Daily Jang, Rawalpindi, edited by Mir-Jamil-ul-Rahman. Curiously, the ban has not been lifted to this day.
However, ban or no ban, Pakistan can find its way to the “interior” of the “Hindu India” and get away scot-free for its acts of omission and commission through its media, its biased anti-minority higher judiciary and the army of Islamabad which the Pakistanis consider it to be the army of Islam!
One pities the psychic disorder of the Pakistani ruling class which is not its own creation. It has been in the genes of the “ruling class” of South Asia through the ages. One can get an idea of the Pakistani psyche in general and read the mind of Muslims in particular from the following speech of a liberal Muslim leader (Mr R.M.Sayani) in his presidential address at the 12th Indian National Congress held in Calcutta in 1896: “Before the advent of British in India, the Mussulmans were the rulers of the country. The Mussulmans had, therefore, all the advantages appertaining to the ruling class. The sovereign and the chiefs were their co-religionists, and so were the great landlords and the great. The court language was their own. Every place of trust and responsibility or carrying influence and high emoluments was by birth theirs. The Hindus holders of position were the tenants-at-will of the Mussulmans. The Hindus stood in awe of them. Enjoyment and influence and all the good things of the world were theirs. By a stroke of misfortune, the Mussulmans had to abdicate their position and descend to the level of their Hindu fellow-countrymen. The Hindus who had before stood in awe of their Mussulman masters were thus raised a step by the fall of their said masters, and with their former awe dropped their courtesy also.
“But the Mussulmans were not in a mood to learn anything that required hard work and application, especially as they had to work harder than their former subjects, the Hindus. Moreover, they resented competing with the Hindus, whom they had till recently regarded as their inferiors. The Hindus, from a subservient state, came into the lands, offices and other worldly advantages of their former masters. Their exultation knew no bounds, and they trod upon the heels of their former masters. The Mussaulmans would have nothing to do with anything in which they might have to come into contact with the Hindus. The fall of their former greatness rankled in their hearts.”
Having successfully regained the status of the “Muslim ruling class of Pakistan”, in 1947 which they had “lost to the British in 1857”, the Pakistanis just cannot forget that their predecessors (even if not necessarily bound by blood) were the minority ruling class over a vast majority of non-Muslim people which, at its peak, stretched from the Hindukush to Chittagong and Kashmir to Cauvery. Hence, “once a ruler, always a ruler” is the attitude. And that is the problem. The Pakistanis, thus, given a chance, would like to get as much and as many of their co-religionists as possible under a single religious umbrella to spread the mantra of its rule over India. Unfortunately, some Indians of “civil society” have decided to look the other way to avoid the issue thereby abdicating their duty and responsibility to protect and preserve freedom. That is the “wonder that is India”!
*The writer is an alumnus of the National Defence College of India and a member of International Institute for Strategic Studies, London
Courtesy : The Statesman||Mr. ABHIJIT BHATTACHARYYA||International Institute for Strategic Studies, London.